Magalia, California

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Coordinates: 39°49′N 121°35′W / 39.817°N 121.583°W / 39.817; -121.583

Magalia (formerly, Butte Mills, Dogtown, and Mountain View)[1] is a census-designated place (CDP) in Butte County, California, United States. The population was 10,569 at the 2000 census. It is also known to be the residence of Tom Selleck and Gary Burghoff.



Originally established after the 1849 California Gold Rush as a mining camp, the town was first called Butte Mills. The post office opened in 1857, and was renamed to Magalia in 1861.[1] A dog breeding operation started in 1850 which led to the place being called Dogtown.[1] Dogtown, and the adjacent settlement of Mill City shared the post office and eventually united.[1]

On April 12, 1859, at the Willard Claim, a hydraulic mine in the Feather River Canyon northeast of the town, a 54-pound (20 kg) gold nugget was discovered, the largest gold nugget ever discovered in the world at the time. Dubbed the "Dogtown nugget", it made the town famous.

However, the female residents preferred not to live in a place called "Dogtown", and in 1862, the name was changed to Magalia, Latin for "cottages".

Geography and natural history

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 14.1 square miles (36.4 km²), all of it land. There are numerous flora and fauna species found in the vicinity including mammals such as Black tailed deer, raccoon and grey squirrel. A considerable number of amphibians are also found such as the Rough-skinned Newt, whose southern range in California interior occurs near Magalia.[2]


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